KP MPAs sworn in amid rumpus

Akram Durrani said the PTI had undermined the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa economically over the last ten years besides trampling its cultural values

By Mushtaq Yusufzai
February 29, 2024
Newly elected members take oath at the provincial legislature of Pakistans Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly in Peshawar on February 28, 2024. — INP

PESHAWAR: The newly-elected 115 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly were sworn in on Wednesday amid rumpus, mismanagement and harassment of the opposition.


Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani administered the oath to the members. The maiden session of the assembly started almost an hour late even though it was officially scheduled for 11am.

The maiden session saw mismanagement and lack of proper arrangements. Hundreds of people, mostly PTI workers, forcibly entered the assembly hall and occupied the galleries meant for journalists, government officials and other guests.

According to the assembly security staff, a PTI MPA from Peshawar had brought 700 people to the assembly who entered the hall without any body search. Since each and every MPA had brought several people, including family members, relatives and supporters, it was literally impossible for the security staff to prevent them from going inside.

The gates were closed and some of the MPAs and media people were not allowed to enter. The MPAs used harsh language against the security staff who refused to let them in, saying thousands of people were waiting outside the building and all of them were desperately trying to get inside the premises. They had to go through different gates and were finally allowed to enter, but when the gates were opened it enabled hundreds of people waiting outside to overpower the security guards and enter the building. The staff appeared helpless before the unruly crowd of PTI activists.

The party workers approached the main hall, where they clashed with the staff and made their way into the main hall. The charged party workers broke down some of the doors when the security staff refused to let them in. The PTI activists chanted slogans in support of Imran Khan and against the opposition members in the main hall of the provincial legislature.

It seemed as if the PTI leadership had deliberately delayed the assembly session as the opposition members, who had already arrived in the hall, were constantly harassed and embarrassed by the PTI workers chanting slogans against them.

Some of the opposition members from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) including Tariq Awan, Jalal Khan, Sobia Shahid from Peshawar, and Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan Marwat and PTI-Parliamentarians MPA from North Waziristan Iqbal Wazir were particularly subjected to harsh treatment. Insulting remarks were passed against them.

PMLN MPA Sobia Shahid invited the wrath of PTI activists by waving a wristwatch and walking around the main hall. The gesture angered the PTI supporters. The galleries were full to capacity with the PTI activists, who started shouting slogans against Sobia Shahid and her party leadership. It turned the environment hostile, prompting the assembly staff to request the woman MPA to stop making the situation worse. The angry PTI supporters started throwing shoes and empty bottles at her. Someone sitting in the gallery reserved for guests threw a lota and shoes at her but they didn’t hit the MPA.

When Mushtaq Ghani formally announced the beginning of the session, the party activists were still raising slogans. He requested them to maintain decorum and keep silence but they did not listen. A frustrated Mushtaq Ghani threatened to postpone the session if they didn’t stop making the fuss. The threat worked and the rowdy PTI workers relented.

Following the swearing-in, all the MPAs were called one by one to put their signatures.

The assembly members will elect speaker and deputy speaker today (Thursday). A woman PTI MPA elected on general seat from Chitral, Suraya Bibi, has been nominated for the office of deputy speaker. She is going to be the first woman to serve as the deputy speaker in KP.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founding chairman Imran Khan had previously nominated Aqibullah Khan, younger brother of former speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Khan, as speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, but he had to change his mind and proposed PTI MPA from Mansehra Babar Salim Swati for the coveted position.

Sources close to Asad Qaiser’s family claimed that some PTI members met Imran Khan incarcerated in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Tuesday in a bid to prevent Aqibullah Khan from becoming the speaker. Aqibullah, who previously served as an MNA from 2013 to 2018 and then became an MPA in 2018 on PTI ticket, told The News that he would accept whatever decision the party leader made.

Meanwhile, opposition members, including Akram Khan Durrani from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Dr Ibadullah Khan from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Ahmad Karim Kundi from Pakistan Peoples Party, condemned the treatment meted out to the opposition in the assembly, particularly women.

Akram Durrani said the PTI had undermined the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa economically over the last ten years besides trampling its cultural values.